Howdy folks! February 2023 Community Day is a GREAT opportunity for many of us to get our first NOIVERN, as Noibat has been
noitoriously notoriously rare in the game to this point. Better still, they are gorgeous shinies, so that grind is gonna be fun in and of itself.
But uh… what about for PvP? Chances are good you have never encountered one in battle, but is that just because of their rarity or something else? Well our Bottom Line Up Front will partly answer that, but then the other details are below….
- Noivern is one of several sad cases in GO where decent potential is locked behind subpar moves… in this case, the fast moves in particular.
- New move Boomburst is a strictly better Hyper Beam/Giga Impact (5 less energy for the same damage), but “strictly better Hyper Beam” is not usually a great place to be, and not what an already-struggling Pokémon like Noivern is probably looking for….
- That said, Boomburst is NOT a bad move, having the same stats and impressive 2.0 Damage Per Energy as Focus Blast… it just needs the right Pokémon to make an impact. If not Noivern, are they any others that may fit the bill? At least one, yes!
Now the details behind all that!
NOIVERN Stats and MovesNoivern Dragon
Great League Stats
|126 (124 High Stat Product)
|111 (115 High Stat Product)
|127 (127 High Stat Product)
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-12, 1497 CP, Level 20.5)
Ultra League Stats
|163 (160 High Stat Product)
|144 (148 High Stat Product)
|164 (165 High Stat Product)
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-14, 2496 CP, Level 38)
(I’m not even including Master League because it barely crosses 3100 CP at Level 50 and is just BAD there, folks.)
So stats-wise, Noivern isn’t awful. It has overall bulk higher than Dragonite, and comparable to Ursaluna (nearly an exact match in overall stats, and the exact same stat product), Mawile, and Dragonite’s little bro Dragonair, and in the same area code as things like Alolan Golem, Empoleon, Lurantis, Ampharos, and Trevenant. Noivern will never be labeled “bulky”, but it can stand in there long enough to deliver some punishment before going down. With the right moves, at least.
As for the typing… hey, it’s worked for Dragonite since literally forever. Dragon resists Fire, Water, and Grass, Flying ALSO resists Grass (so 2x resistance) as well as Fighting, Bug, and Ground. Dragon is weak to Dragon and Fairy, Flying is weak to Rock, both are weak to Ice for that famous double vulnerability to Ice damage. So a total of six resistances (two of them beign 2x resistances) and four notable weaknesses.
ALL that to say… on stats and typing alone, there IS potential here.
Hold that thought, though… the moves tell a different story right off the bat.
- Air Slash – type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 1.5 CoolDown
- Bite – Dark type, 4.0 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
Noivern’s PvP relevance starts — and mostly ends — right here. Air Slash is not a terrible PvP move… indeed, some things like Skarmory and Mandibuzz and Tropius can make it work for them. But those successful Air Slashers have things like great bulk and/or inexpensive, high-pressure charge moves (like Sky Attack, Foul Play, and especially Leaf Blade) that make it all work. Noivern, as we’ll see in a moment, simply doesn’t.
And no, Bite is not some secret special strat. This is NO Razor Leaf or Charm type here, but it has their same lousy energy generation, AND lacks STAB. Hard pass.
There ARE other excellent fast moves that Noivern can learn in MSG… but we’ll get to that later. In the here and now, Air Slash is the best that “Vern” can do.
Now about those charge moves….
ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move
- Psychic – Psychic type, 90 damage, 55 energy, 10% Chance to Decreases Opponent Defense by 1 Stage
- Hurricane – type, 110 damage, 65 energy
- Draco Meteor – Dragon type, 150 damage, 65 energy, Reduces User Attack -2 Stages
- Fire Blast – Fire type, 95 damage, 75 energy
- Boomburstᴱ – Normal type, 150 damage, 75 energy
That’s actually a pretty nice variety of moves, and some of those are fine in PvP: Psychic (the move) is a decent Earth Power/Energy Ball clone, Draco Meteor deals HUGE damage for the cost, albeit with a drawback, and Hurricane tears it up on the right Pokémon too. (See: Pelipper) The problem is that the only one that costs less than 65 energy is Psychic… on a Pokémon with a barely average 3.0 Energy Per Turn on its best fast move. It takes seven Air Slashes to reach the first chance to use Psychic, which translates to 21 PvP turns, and 10 and a half seconds of real time. It takes another Air Slash (so 3 more turns and 1.5 more seconds) to build past 65 energy and be able to fire off any other charge move. The REAL stink of it is that six Air Slashes hits 54 energy, just ONE energy short of what Psychic (the move) requires, and eight gets you to 63 energy, just two short of what’s required for Hurricane or Draco. A 50 or 60 energy move would flow much better with Air Slash, or Arceus forbid, a 45 energy move (like Skarmory’s Sky Attack or Mandibuzz’s Foul Play), as only five Air Slashes hits 45 energy exactly.
Instead? Noivern’s big special Community Day move costs… 75 energy.
So we’ve got another Meteor Beam Gigalith or Poltergeist Chandelure situation on our hands… a big, fat, expensive charge move that is the LAST thing that the Community Day recipient needs or even knows what to do with. Sigh.
Well, we’re here now, so we may as well take a look, and then at the end we’ll wrap it up with some other potential Boomburst recipients to see if they stand to benefit.
Again, stats-wise, Noivern should be able to do at least some work in Great League, with other Dragons with similar stats able to make their mark on at least Limited formats and sometimes even Open Great League. But I won’t sugar coat it: Noivern doesn’t even sniff viability, and not surprisingly, using the even more expensive Boombust (that was actually a typo initially, but I decided to leave it 🙃) doesn’t help at at. Heck, you all know that Dragonite and others have struggled in Great League (being better off in higher Leagues), but Dragonite and even things like Flygon leave Noivern completely in the dust. This thing is down in Salamence levels of uselessness in Great League, folks. Don’t do it.
With just a little more help, that would be a much different story… but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, Ultra League.
…well, actually, pretty much the same as Great League, with or without Boomburst. A couple specific Grass or Fighting targets and really nothing else. Big sads. With shields down you can kinda sorta almost see the potential, but the medioctiry of Air Slash is just too much to overcome. Hence the reason I’m not even going to bother showing Master League and just kick this straight into speculation mode.
WHAT COULD SAVE NOIVERN?
The good news is that it wouldn’t take too much to drive Noivern into at least legit spice territory. It does learn some intriguing charge moves in MSG that would all help, like Acrobatics (5 less energy than Hurricane for the same 110 damage, so more synergistic with Air Slash), Fly (45 energy for that sweet spot of exactly 5 Air Slashes of energy, for 80 damage), or perhaps the ultimate dream, Dragon Claw (35 energy, 50 damage). But even adding those into the equation wouldn’t fully save it, as you are still dragging around the ball and chain of Air Slash. What Noivern REALLY needs to soar is a better fast move.
Thankfully MSG offer those in abundance too. Noivern is capable of learning Shadow Claw by TM, or Gust or Wing Attack naturally by leveling up in MSG. Any of those would be a notable improvement, even with existing charge moves, but especially Wing Attack, which would make Noivern something quite unique and fun in PvP, with a record quite close to Dragonite and able to outrace some things that ‘Nite cannot, like Nidoqueen, Jellicent, Alolan Muk, and fellow Wing Attacker Gliscor. Or heck, since we’re dreaming, give it Wing Attack AND Dragon Claw and watch it shoot for the moon! That might be too much to ask, but… can’t we give it a better fast move at least, Niantic? Just to at least make it interesting, potentially even with Boomburst? Pretty please? 🥺
Well, until that dream is perhaps one day achieved, as we did with other disappointing Community Day bombs (in multiple senses of the word “bomb”), let’s close it out by looking at other things that might benefit from Boomburst as it exists right now.
BOOMBURST OR BOOMBUST?
So here’s a full list of Pokémon that learn Boomburst in MSG. It’s not a long list:Exploud Normal
- Probably the most thematic is EXPLOUD, but it has an even bigger fast move problem than Noivern, with Bite being its best fast move, since the only other once it can use in GO is the truly dreadful Astonish (3.0 Energy Per Turn, but only 1.66 DPT… blech!). So even though it has some decent charge moves already (including Crunch and Disarming Voice that both cost only 45 energy), it’s going nowhere fast, and forget about Boomburst making any difference. I will ask for about the 47th time… Astonish buff WHEN, Niantic?
- KOMMO-O can learn Boomburst, interestingly enough, but it hums along fine right now with Dragon Claw and Close Combat… Boomburst just messes up its rhythm (not to mention dropping critical wins like Dialga and Excadrill). Pass.
- TOXITRICITY (which, by the way, I have STILL not forgiven Niantic for not releasing during the Crackling Voltage event… harumph 😤) can learn Boomburst, but as with Kommo-O, I don’t think it would want it, having much more potential with multiple combinations of other existing moves (and in multiple Leagues). Again, pass.
- Gonna sound like a broken record, but… FLYGON can learn Boomburst, but runs much better with current moves.
- RILLABOOM, whenever it finally arrives, is sadly limited to Razor Leaf in PvP (as coded right now, at least). That won’t jive with Boomburst at all.
- Other things not yet released in GO may have more luck. There’s SCREAM TAIL, the Fairy/Psychic Paldean relative of Jigglypuff with a mean streak, who learns Boomburst as its final leveling up move, just like Noivern. But that one’s really hard to evaluate, as right now it looks to have no moves that are good fast moves in GO’s PvP, being stuck with stuff like Zen Headbutt, Take Down, and Pound. More promising — in fact, likely the most promising thing in this entire article — is DUNDUNSPARCE, the Paldean evolution of Dunsparce. Formerly a laughing stock in PvP (stuck behind Bite and Astonish like other things above), Dunsparce has taken off with the addition of fast move Rollout. Dundun does not exist yet in GO to simulate with, but using Dunsparce as a guide, it would appear Boomburst may have a future after all. Granted, you sacrifice some coverage, giving up stuff like Bastiodon and Registeel and Lanturn, but gaining stuff like Lickitung and Alolan Ninetales and Umbreon and Shadow Walrein and Victreebel and even Azumarill makes up for that, I think! If there is anything to look forward to getting Boomburst in its current form one day, I think it’s Dundun! (And now you know why it’s peeking in on the header image. 😁)
- Ack, I initially forgot about the stuff that learns Boomburst via breeding in MSG. These include potentially TOUCANNON (still bad though) and CHATOT (another one trapped behind poor fast moves), but also the slightly underrated SWELLOW, who comes with Wing Attack and Sky Attack AND Brave Bird already and would probably be talked about more if it wasn’t for stuff like Pidgeot and Noctowl that outshine it. Boomburst could fit in nicely as a less risky replacement for Brave Bird, and at least give it something to throw at things that resist Flying (unlike Pidgeot, who is stuck with all Flying charge moves). It’s still not going to pass those more dangerous and pervasive birbs, but it would at least become a more intriguing spice option.
Alright, that’s it for today, but you’ll probably be seeing a lot of me in the coming days, with analyses on Love Cup, Ember Ninetales (GO Battle Day), and of course Precipice Blades Groudon, Origin Pulse Kyogre, and the newly-mined Breaking Swipe Rayquaza all in various stages of progress, plus a Field Guide to the Hoenn Tour! Lots of stuff inbound… stay tuned!
Good hunting! Stay safe and WARM out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!